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Project Help and Ideas » Auxilliary display

December 31, 2009
by mongo
mongo's Avatar

Something I am looking for...

I need to set up the NK as a data display, secondary to the main display of my computer. Here is what I mean...

I am building a wind turbine directional controller and I need it to talk to the PC as well as display what the PC sends to it after doing the number crunching, like wind speeds, direction, time and so on.

Even if it's just a dumb display for now, will do. So, what would I need to do to get it to display text generated by the PC and sent through to the USB port to the NK?

December 31, 2009
by Farmerjoecoledge
Farmerjoecoledge's Avatar

You want to display the windmill data on the lcd. I'm looking at doing that too but wireless and software to read/display whatever the sensors are picking up, speed, direction and the part I want is the generator data. But I haven't had a chance to start on it. Figure yourself out an interface and go from there. Give yourself 6mo's on the interface.

December 31, 2009
by mongo
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Sorta...

The anemometer reads RPM's. The computer translates to MPH and sends the data to the display.

Wind vane reads direction. 0-5V around the 360° and then activates outputs to rotate the turbine into the wind (180° or 2.5V). If wind speed gets too high, the rotator skews the direction to prevent over-revving. It will also turn out of the wind if it is too low to be useful. It's a tailless wind mill and the instruments are mounted to the same rotating mast. I can make the circuit with discrete components but that doesn't give me anything to display.

It'll also be monitoring output from the generator and battery voltages.

I have been playing with the NK tonight, trying to read and write through the USB port and display but so far, canned messages are all I can get to work. Been attempting to adapt info from the other projects here on the NK site too.

January 01, 2010
by hevans
(NerdKits Staff)

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Hi mongo,

I think what you are looking for is the scanf function to read data back into the MCU from the PC over the serial port. Check out the printf and scanf tutorial for a good explanation of how that works.

It sounds like a really neat project you have working. Let us know how it turns out.

Humberto

January 01, 2010
by mongo
mongo's Avatar

AH HAH!

Thanx for pointing me in the direction I need to go. C programming was not among my strong points. I was more of a BASIC and low level machine language programmer... But that was a long time ago.

I'll be studying more of these as time progresses. And also, a thanx to Nerdful... For those out there who don't already know, a real good resource on ideas and apps too.

Dave (Mongo)

January 30, 2011
by Ralphxyz
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Hey mongo what are you using for wind direction?

I am just at the point of starting to think about how to do this.

It looks like you are using a rotary contact variable resistance apparatus.

Did you build this?

Are you converting resistance to voltage and using the ADC on the mcu?

Thanks,

Ralph

January 30, 2011
by Ralphxyz
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Darn, now I remember I already asked you about what you were using.

You have that pot that will spin 360˚.

Sorry,

Ralph

January 30, 2011
by mongo
mongo's Avatar

Two of them... One in use with the weather station and one for the wind turbines, which I am currently working on.

January 30, 2011
by Ralphxyz
Ralphxyz's Avatar

How are you doing with the wind turbine? Can you furnish any details about what you are doing?

I started out building a anemometer to capture some wind data to see if a turbine wold be practical and now that project has turned into a full weather station.

I was also thinking that I ought to makeup a small turbine to power all of the electronics.

So what I am working on is:

Anemometer
Wind Direction
Humidity Sensor
Barometric Pressure Sensor
Temperature Sensor 
ZigBee RF communications
RTC (date/time stamp)
SD Data Logging

And to think I started out here on the Nerdkits only a year ago, what a fantastic learning experience this has been.

Of course most of the code will be from here on the Nerdkit's forum.

Ralph

January 31, 2011
by mongo
mongo's Avatar

Ralph, I haven't had much time to play with the NK lately. Classes are taking up most of my time. The system will just be a direction and wind speed instrument. It's actually for an active azimuth setup for a wind turbine. It will turn the blades out of the wind a little to prevent over-speed at one extreme and to allow power generation at low wind speeds as soon as the wind is strong enough. This way, it won't try to follow just any breeze and hunt all over the place as the winds get a little erratic.

The other one is for a wireless test rig but I will leave that one alone for a while as it's currently my weather station in the yard. It does all of those things you mentioned but maybe a little differently. Wind speed and direction is a given. It also does indoor and outdoor temps, humidity, barometric pressure, wind chill, heat index and trends. It stores the data every 15 minutes and can hold up to 2 years in memory. I just can't download the data, so if I need to review it, I have to do it on the control panel.

It's a nice little gadget for $90.00. it also has a wireless rain gauge, but I don't have a place to install it at the moment.

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